Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vanuatu Tusker OP Lager - Vanuatu - 25-12-14

The low down: 
Tusker is the beer I compare all pacific lagers to, so I guess I will compare Tusker OP to it as well. Imagine someone took a sacred beverage, and upped the dextrose so the yeast burned hotter and pumped out an extra 2.3% alcohol, then basically made it half as good. This is certainly a case of more is less.

Vanuatu is a bona fide tropical paradise. The coral reefs are amazing, sunset is like being on another world and Tusker beer is everywhere like mana from heaven. You may even notice me wearing the Tusker shirt in the last image, I devoured it incessantly both times I visited.

OP is a shoddy imitator to the throne, but it's still better than most of the pacific lagers that end up in my fridge.

Packaging: 6/10
No awards here, though I have been to the bottling plant. (It's like most other bottling plants)
Refreshment: 6/10
The original would have been a 9, this is a not so close second.
Flavour 5/10
Feels like the boozahol ruins the grain bill.
Alcohol Content: 9/10
7% which I admit, is ridiculous for an adjunct.
Price: 8/10
400 Vatu in stores, or around $4 (Thanks Bill)
Total: 34/50

Yes the higher alcohol might be useful for a night getting crunk, but I'd rather just drink 2 regular Tuskers and deal with the toilet breaks.
For food, I remember sitting on a north facing beach eating fresh fruit (I mean tree cut fresh pineapple and mango) with a Tusker in the other hand, and it was glorious.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Vonu Pure Lager - Fiji - 14-11-14

The low down: 

So first a disclaimer, Coca Cola recently purchased this brewery for a cool 5 million. This is probably the best the small island nation has to offer, and anyone who has had a Fiji Bitter will know just how much worse they get.

Fiji receives 3000 mm of rain water per year and while much of it goes to producing the lucrative Fiji water, allegedly filtered through 450 years worth of mineral deposits, Vonu will need a fair share to keep up with the massive growth in markets that the Coca Cola deal opens up for them.

They call it "hand crafted" and it tastes like it is, and I can only imagine it would be even better on a sandy beach in the south pacific.

Packaging: 9/10
A really solid design, and I love the custom stubbie holder.
Refreshment: 6/10
Pretty good refreshment levels.
Flavour 7/10
A fairly mixed bag, but nice rather than revolting.
Alcohol Content: 5/10
4.6% very average for the region.
Price: 5/10
$8.00 at the local Argentinian joint.
Total: 31/50

Vonu Pure Lager apparently donate a lot of money to the conservation of the endangered Vonu turtle, which is indigenous to Fiji, Tahiti and the surrounds. So I can't in good conscience recommend the turtle soup. Thankfully, it is spectacularly matched to BBQ meats.